“Be mindful, be grateful, be positive, be true, be kind.”– Roy T. Bennett, ‘The Light in the Heart’
There is no time more important than the present to be mindful. We are in a time of unprecedented change, our lives are restricted and no longer look like the lives we led mere months ago. Mindfulness offers us a way to be grateful, enjoy some calm and peace, and a way to lift our spirits on a daily basis.
These mindfulness activities can be done from your own home, and are great whether you are in lockdown alone or with your whole extended family. These are particularly great as they are activities that anyone can do, no matter how young or old. A great way to keep you and your loved ones calm and grounded…
1. Mindful Dance
Feeling down, bored or stressed in lockdown. Have a dance! This is a wonderful and joyful way to shake off whatever is bothering you. Whether you choose a bop or something a bit more relaxed, be aware of your body as you do this, making sure that you extend your energy through every limb and extremity.
To entertain your kids with this for longer than a few minutes, why not challenge them to go away and create a dance routine together?
2. Mindful Nap Time
A meditative power nap is a great way to rejuvenate yourself during the day. This can be done alone, or it can be done as a family. Put on some calming, music, get comfortable and close your eyes for 30 minutes. Whether you sleep, stretch or let your mind be quiet during this time, it is wonderful way to bring your conscience back to the self.
See HERE for some wonderful meditative music.
3. Mindful Bath/Shower
As most of us have got the time at the moment, why not make bath time or shower hour a bit more special, as opposed to a more everyday functional experience. Put some music on, light a candle, put on a face mask beforehand, and take your time. Really appreciate the soothing nature of the hot water, and take your time to wash with care as opposed to, what might usually be, a quick scrub!
4. Mindful Snacking
One of the hallmarks of being mindful is to focus on the moment, and the sensations you are experiencing within that moment. Any time at which you are consuming food is a great way to practice this; a great opportunity to fully experience and appreciate the food. For example:
“I once had a group and someone shared this story with me: During the war, her parents could only afford one bar of chocolate a week. So, every Friday evening, the whole family sat together by the fireplace and broke up the bar of chocolate. Two pieces for mum. Two pieces of dad. And one piece for each of the three children. When they received that piece of chocolate, they slowing put the piece of chocolate in their mouth and tried to make the chocolate last for as long as possible.
She told me it was the most delicious experience of chocolate she ever had. And I’m almost certain it’s not because of the make of chocolate. It’s the way they ate it – savouring every moment.” – Shamash Alidina
Whatever you and your kids are snacking on, make it an experience; make it conscious as opposed to passive. Encourage them to savour the tastes, textures and smells of what they are snaking on.
5. Mindful Cooking
Food, as we might be reminded from the point above, is a multi-sensory experience. Why not invite your children to cook with you? Encourage them to get involved; to smell and feel the ingredients, to see and learn about what happens to food when you cook it, to listen to the sound of something boiling or frying in a pan. To notice these things is to be mindful of the process.
Great things for kids to get involved in the preparation of include; dough kneading, batter mixing, salad tossing or pasta rolling.
6. Mindful Letter Writing
One of my friends, during lockdown, has been writing a letter a day to one of her friends. She has designed her own cards, written bespoke messages on the front, and filled said card with kind words and thoughts for that person. This is a great thing to do, not just for adults, but also for children. Sit them down with their favourite craft bits and get them to pick three friends to write cards or letters to.
By Chris Thomson
New to this whole mindfulness thing? Here are some tips on how to get started from our archive… Mindfulness is My New Year’s Resolution! Where Do I Begin?
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